St Lawrence Fair 2019 - Hurstpierpoint

Children’s Events for St Lawrence Fair 2019

Not long to go until the 2019 Fair - we hope to see you all there. On the page opposite you will find the events that are taking place running up to the Fair. We will give you the procession route and full schedule for Fair Saturday in next month’s issue.

Talking about the procession, last year was exceptionally hot and we have decided that we need a plan if it is as hot (or hideously wet) for the well-being of our processioners! With this in mind, if it is very hot or very wet we will turn left out of Marchants Road and come straight up Cuckfield Road to the roundabout and along the High Street, cutting out the middle of Cuckfield Road and Western Road and coming past the Church. We have to think about our lovely walkers and Marching Band - we hope you understand. We will take the decision about this on the Friday late afternoon and publicise it as much as possible. All procession participants will be contacted and told at this time and the procession will leave later as it will not take as long to get around the shortened route.

Now onto something we think is quite exciting - we will have six VIP tables (to seat 10) available for sale for our Friday Bands and BBQ. These will be £100 and have a great location for watching the music and getting to HurstBarPoint. If you would like a table please email: stlawrencefair First come, first paid, first served!

Court Bushes Community Hub, Willow Way, Hurstpierpoint


The Ex-Serviceman’s Club in Hurstpierpoint has been reinvented

By David Tingley

The Ex-Serviceman’s Club has been closed for nearly two years, but there has been lots of positive work going on in the background, thanks to Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC).

The club had experienced some challenges latterly which resulted in MSDC repossessing the building off Willow Way back in December 2017.

Unfortunately, during that month a fire was started in a wheelie bin outside the centre, which took hold and spread into the eaves and roof of the building causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the empty site. This gave the Council both a problem but also an opportunity.

There had already been a series of conversations with local interested parties to try to ensure that the club building was able to be used for the good of the community. District Councillor and Hurst resident Colin Trumble chaired and hosted a meeting back in November 2017 at Haywards Heath Town Hall. The result of that was the creation of a Steering Group whose members comprised of representatives from the Parish Council, MSDC, the Club, local churches and other community groups.

Following the repossession, fire damage and assessment, MSDC agreed a plan to spend money on renovating the site with Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common Parish Council committing to take the lease for the building and grounds.

Paul Williams, Project Surveyor for MSDC, explained: “The fire damage was extensive and smoke had affected almost every aspect of the inside of the building.” Paul worked alongside the Steering Group to create a completely new plan for the space which would seek to be both flexible and practical. “Fortunately we were able to reuse some equipment and furniture from recently decommissioned Martlets Hall in Burgess Hill – which included the bar and kitchen equipment.”

The new building – named Court Bushes Community Hub – now comprises of three independent spaces.

A small room with a bar and kitchen is at the back of the building. This area has one wall which is entirely bifold doors and will open out onto a decked garden area.

On the opposite side of the site is a completely self-sufficient nursery premises, fitted with its own set of toilets, a manager’s office and separate entrance from the car park. This large, bright room includes access to a generous enclosed outside space too. The Parish Council have already agreed to rent this space to a local nursery school (Kiddie Capers) from September.

Then the main space is a large and bright room, now completely open, which includes storage facilities, a dancefloor area and a hatch through to a well-planned kitchen. This area also has its own bi-fold doors, opening out to the grassy field outside.

Each of these spaces can be let independently, and all enquiries should be direct to the Parish Council office on 01273 833264 or see the recently launched website:

Colin Trumble explained: “I am delighted that this building has been given a new lease of life. Although it doesn’t always happen, this really is a triumph of ‘design by committee’ – as so many from the community have been part of what has now been built.”

“The original Ex-Serviceman’s Club was opened over 100 years ago in Hurst,” commented MSDC Councillor Joy Dennis, “as a response from the community to help those who fought for our country. Now, in different times, it’s great to see the revitalised Court Bushes site being open and available to be used for all in Hurstpierpoint.”

To celebrate the opening of Court Bushes Community
Hub there is a Fun Day planned for Saturday 1st June
(1-3pm), which will include craft activities for kids, a soft
play area, café, bouncy castle, a DJ and Popsteps dance
classes – as well as officially cutting the ribbon! All are
invited to go along and see the revitalised building.

Parish Council news - March 2019


By Stephen Hand

As many will have seen, the new Village Gateways have been installed at the entry to the two villages of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common and in general have been positively received. Most people have commented that they do give a stronger sense of place, which was our intention in putting them in place.

Although New Year’s Day will be some weeks past when this page is published, I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to join the ‘Hurst Meadows Guided Walkabouts’ on that day. Some eighty people in total took part in the two walks and, from the lively discussions that took place, thoroughly enjoyed the guided tours of the three meadows which make up the fifty acres that now belong in perpetuity to the community. My thanks to Cllr. Claire Majsai and Advisory Board member Helen Brangwyn for organising the event, which will be repeated at Easter when the new orchard has been planted.

At its recent January meeting the Parish Council approved its budget for the year 2019-2020. In looking to next year we have taken account of our proposed management of the new Court Bushes Community Hub which will open in the spring. The new community building will be a flexible space that can be used in different ways by local community groups. A large hall area will be available for social functions or as a venue for activities like exercise classes and it is hoped that a nursery provider will use the space to provide local childcare. While MSDC has made most of the investment in refurbishing the building, it is proposed that the Parish Council will be responsible for the day to day financial operation of the Hub. MSDC will consider our management proposal in March, but meanwhile we believe that it is right for us to make provision to fund the early days of this hugely worthwhile project. In order to make sure we can do this while continuing to balance our budget, we have increased our Band D council tax by 5% which equates to an additional £3.42 per household per year. This budget and the financial results for the year 2018-2019 will be presented as usual at the Annual Parish Meeting in May.

Finally, in May there are local elections, including the chance to elect a new Parish Council. Anyone wishing to stand for election should contact the MSDC election office for further details. The deadline for candidates to submit nomination forms is 3rd April 2019.

Hurst High Street Community Christmas Event

By David Tingley

High Street Community Event in Hurstpierpoint

It is with great pleasure that we at Hurst Life have been able to join with the various other businesses who have supported the Community Christmas Event on the High Street on 8th December.

According to organiser Louise Lawrence, this year’s High Street event has been a genuine community collaboration with many groups, in addition to businesses, taking steps to make it happen. She explained: “Hurst Life’s support has been incredibly helpful. Hurst Life has, with no charge, allowed us to raise the profile of the event by printing photos and updates on a monthly basis.”

Other businesses involved this year specifically include: Marcus Grimes, Castles Solicitors, The Co-op and Nationwide Building Society as well as other High Street traders.

The High Street will be closed to traffic from 2.45pm on Saturday 8th December, reopening at 7pm that evening.

Highlights of the afternoon will include over 55 stalls (all local), Santa’s Grotto from 4pm, a live nativity, live band, dance performance, trishaw rides and a camera booth. The evening will conclude with a torchlit carol singing procession at 6.30pm.

For up to date information about the event search for ‘Hurst High Street Xmas Shopping’ on Facebook.

New stone laid on The Green in Hurst


Passers-by of the children sculpture on The Green may have noticed the addition of a new stone laid in front of it – courtesy of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council.

Hurst resident Sylvia Thornhill (pictured) was one of many who suggested concepts for the installation, but hers eventually won the public vote and was installed in July 2013.

The new stone credits Sylvia and explains the rationale of the artwork, as the children represent the seven centuries that the St Lawrence Fair has been running.

Robert Harris - Village People feature

By Michèle Copeland

Which residents of Hurstpierpoint would not have heard of, or been to, the St Lawrence Fair? Yet how many of us know its history and the role that the Harris family has played over 100 years?

Harris Brothers Family Fun Fair - photo from the 80s

Though the Fair has been around for over 700 hundred years in Hurstpierpoint, it presumably started then to coincide with a cattle market trading day, which would have been very popular, first on Church Green (where the War Memorial now is) - the 1897 OS map has the area around the crossroads as ‘Market Place’. Later it moved a short distance away to the north to Lamb Platt, where London Terrace and North Terrace are now, opposite the entrance to Trinity Road. There are even entries in the school log citing occasions when the cattle spilled over into the road and prevented children going to school!

However, the link to Hurstpierpoint with the Harris brothers started in the 1860s and was made by John Harris, who had five sons and was a timber merchant with a yard in nearby Cuckfield. 

He came to the fairground business at the time of horse powered roundabouts and went on, with his sons, to be the first operator of steam roundabouts in Sussex. They first opened at Brighton Racecourse in Victorian times by supplying ‘amusements’ to fairgrounds .

[The full article is featured on the pages of the July 2017 issue of Hurst Life magazine]

Link: Harris Fun Fair website

Morley's hosts fashion show in Hurstpierpoint

Hurstpierpoint Traders organise a successful charity Fashion Show in June.

Hurstpierpoint Traders organise a successful charity Fashion Show in June.

Last month a group of High Street traders from Hurstpierpoint held a charity event raising £1,200.

The owners of Ashley and Thomas, Le Chic Fashion Exchange and Morley’s Wine Bar worked together to organise the evening of fashion and fun, which was held at Morley’s in June. Clothes were supplied courtesy of Audrey (Le Chic) and the jewellery and scarfs from Gill (Ashley & Thomas). The event was a fundraiser for local charity Dame Vera Lynn’s Children’s Charity in celebration of Dame Vera’s 100th birthday this year.

Thanks must go to: The models (Sarah, Mickey, Sara, Jane, Liz, Susannah, Miriam, Isabella, Sheila); Sharon (hair); Jamie (makeup); Dressers (Sarah & Meriel); Steve and Chris of Gogglebox (comperes for the evening); all traders who donated prizes (Cookshop, Clive MillerMuddy, JanTon, Hartley’s, Profiles of Hassocks, Le Chic Fashion Exchange, Lustig & Webb, and Louisanna florist. 

With special thanks to Toby and his team at Morley’s, and Steve at Trident Leisure for the supply of the marquee and chairs at no cost. 

What an amazing night – it just proves what can be achieved when a community pulls together.

St Lawrence Fair, Hurstpierpoint - Sat 1st July 2017

The St Lawrence Fair is the most exciting day in the Hurstpierpoint village calendar.

Generations of Hurstpierpoint inhabitants, as well as residents from neighbouring villages, come together to celebrate the 700-year-old tradition of dressing up floats, singing and dancing, taking part in fun competitions and enjoying the range of entertainment, as well as eating and drinking the finest local produce and browsing village trade stalls.

However, it is not free and every year the committee needs to raise funds to cover costs such as health and safety, police and insurance to ensure the smooth running of the Fair.

If you love Hurstpierpoint and the historic St Lawrence Fair, then please donate to keep this wonderful event up and running. The committee is also looking for volunteers to help across the events both on the day (Saturday 1st July) and in the run-up to the Fair.

Friday 30th June - South Avenue Rec
12.30pm-2.30pm - Teddy Bear's Picnic
6pm-7.30pm - Junior Disco (Age 4+)
From 6pm - Family BBQ and Live Music

Saturday 1st July 2017 - Fair Day on South Avenue Recreation Ground
From 12noon on the day, stalls, procession, fun fair, fun run, arena events and food market.